Hell on Wheels: with Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount). *Photo by amctv.com
Hell on Wheels: with Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount). *Photo by amctv.com

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9: There are some fresh new arrivals on television this month that will help you ease into the upcoming holiday season. Here are a few picks to distract and entertain you:

The Layover, on The Travel Channel – premieres Monday, November 21, at 10pm:
In the latest season of his popular show No Reservations, host Anthony Bourdain has been moving away from his traditional food themes and more toward a focus on travel. With his new, ten-episode, one-hour weekly series, The Layover, he is fully in travel mode.  The show, which promises to be fast-paced by its very name, drops Bourdain in a different city with each episode, and gives him 24 to 48 hours to show viewers what they should do if they should ever find themselves in a similar situation. He’ll take us to destinations in the US, Europe and Asia. Bourdain himself describes the new show as “faster, more democratic and more caffeinated than No Rez. But just as obnoxious”. Brace yourself.

Hell on Wheels, on AMC – starting November 6,  Sundays at 11pm:
Following on the success of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, this brand-new series from AMC is, refreshingly, a Western. Set in America’s post-Civil War era, when the great railroads were being built, the story focuses on a former Confederate soldier who is seeking revenge for the murder of his wife by Union soldiers. Starring Anson Mount (City by the Sea, Cook County), the cast also includes Common (who plays an emancipated slave) and Ben Esler (The Pacific), as well as Colm Meaney (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) as a greedy entrepreneur. AMC has always been committed to the genre, so this is one Western that really looks worth watching. For more information, videos, blogs, and sneak peeks, visit: www.amctv.com/shows/hell-on-wheels.

Jessie, new series on Disney – Fridays at 10pm:
Targeting kids aged six to 14, this new series launched with a Friday night premiere that broke records for Disney.  The show is already such a hit that it’s been picked up for 20 episodes.  Following on the huge success of The Suite Life on Deck, the series features that show’s star, Debbie Ryan, as a small town nanny from Texas who goes to New York and is hired to look after the four precocious children of a jet-setting young New York super-couple.

Jessie is excited by the new job but quickly comes to learn that she needs to rely very heavily on the help and advice of the kids in her care — 13-year-old Emma, the couple’s biological child, 10-year-old Indian adoptee Ravi, 12-year-old American adoptee Luke and seven-year-old African adoptee Zuri.

It’s a wonderful rainbow of ethnic backgrounds and a roaring lot of fun for the whole family. Characters include the family’s beloved yet frosty butler, Bertram, the building’s 20-year-old doorman, Tony, and the family pet, a seven-foot Asian Water Monitor Lizard. Find games (including The Nanny Survival Guide, videos, clips and more at:  http://tv.disney.go.com/disneychannel/jessie/.

Would You Rather? hosted by Graham Norton on BBC America – premieres Sunday, December 3, at midnight:
For some off-the-wall laughs, stay up late Saturday night and catch this new series from award-winning comedian and UK talk show host, Graham Norton. In a mock game show setting, with scores being kept and winners declared, Norton sits down with a panel of witty celebrities and comedians and asks them to imagine being in a prickly predicament and having to choose between two unattractive (but-you-have-to-choose) options. For example, would you rather permanently lose your thumbs or your cousin? Just some of the guests who have signed up for the first season: Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Scott Adsit and Judah Friedlander. Says Norton, “When they asked me, would I rather sit in London watching television with my dogs or spend three weeks in New York with some of the brightest and funniest people in the States  — it was a very easy decision to make.”